Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus walked through the Capitol building to watch the proceedings. “We want this Senate to act favorably today. But if it’s not, we won’t give up,” said Rep. James Clyburn, DS.C., the highest-ranking black member of Congress.
Manchin opened the door to a more tailored set of election law changes, including to the voter count law, which was tested during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection. He said senators from both parties are working on it and it could draw support from Republicans.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said a bipartisan coalition should work on legislation to ensure voter access, especially in remote areas like her state, and to build Americans’ faith in democracy.
“We don’t need, we don’t need a repeat of 2020 when obviously our last president, having lost the election, sought to alter the results,” Murkowski said.
She said the debate in the Senate had declined in a disturbing state: “You are either a racist or a hypocrite. Really really? Is this where we are?
At one point, senators burst into applause after a spirited debate between Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, among the most experienced lawmakers, and incoming Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., over the history of the voting rights law.